Supreme Court Won't Hear Appeal Over 'Used' iTunes Tracks

The Supreme Court on Monday turned away a company that aimed to create a marketplace for "used" iTunes tracks.

The move brings an end to a long-running battle between ReDigi -- which offered a platform that enabled consumers to re-sell digital music files -- and Capitol Records.

ReDigi, which launched in 2011, said its platform enabled consumers to re-sell unwanted iTunes tracks.

The now-bankrupt company said its platform scanned users' hard drives for proof that the files were acquired legally, then transferred tracks to the cloud while simultaneously deleting them from the original users' hard drives.

Capitol Records sued the company for copyright infringement in 2012.

The record company argued that consumers weren't selling the same works that they purchased, but copies they uploaded to the cloud.



That model is illegal, Capitol argued, because only the copyright owner has the right to make copies. Capitol also said consumers could have retained duplicate copies of the same music they sought to re-sell.

Late last year, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in New York sided against ReDigi, ruling that its platform operated by illegally making copies of digital files.

The appellate judges wrote that ReDigi's system “inevitably involves the creation of new phonorecords by reproduction.”

In March, ReDigi asked the Supreme Court to hear the case. The company said in its court papers that a Supreme Court ruling would establish whether owners of digital music have the same rights to re-sell that music as owners of vinyl albums or physical CDs.

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